Here’s a fun fact you probably didn’t know about this blog: both of the main writers have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. If you’re not in the know, it’s a genetic collagen disorder that means we’re super bendy our ,joints hurt and move out of place. There’s more to it than that, of course, but you get the gist of it. As chronically ill people, self care is vitally important to our physical and mental well being. Self Care Mvmt gets this.
Brought to you by Self Care Catalysts, a patient solutions company. Self Care Mvmt is trying to change the way we think about chronic illness and the way we manage it by celebrating the greatness in ordinary accomplishments that patients face everyday.
As someone with random joint dislocations, things that healthy people take for granted can be hard for me. And when people ask how I’m doing? They mean in a medical, clinical way. They’re not talking about how my daily life is going, and they’re not talking about the things I do to survive or potentially feel better. They’re talking charts and tests, not about the fact that I need to sit down and drink a cup of tea because I’ve managed to stress myself into a migraine when I should really just breathe.
Self Care looks different for everyone. For some people, it’s hanging out with friends in low key activities. For some, it’s eating healthy meals and avoiding processed food. For my mom, the other chronically ill person on this blog, it’s probably reading. She loves to escape into a good book or the latest copy of a magazine. For me? Don’t laugh. It’s power walking.
Yep, I’m being serious here. Power walking.
My chronic illness necessitates that any exercise I do is low impact and not very strenuous. However, as many people with chronic illness know, exercise is a great way to help manage your mental and physical health. So although I’ve got a lifetime ban from yoga and running, I’ve found an exercise that I can do without damaging my joints. Even better, it’s an exercise I enjoy. (Everyone knows you’re more likely to exercise if you like what you’re doing.)
The benefits of walking, for me, are numerous. It gets me outside, which boosts my Vitamin D and my mood. I usually walk with a friend or family member, which lets me get in a dose of socialization that I might not get if we sat at home watching TV. It lets me spend bonding time with my baby, who can ride in a carrier on my chest. It lets me explore new parts of my city on our various walking trails, warding off that ominous cabin fever that comes with so many parts of chronic illness. I have been known to treat myself to a coffee or a gluten free treat after a long walk, but hey. That’s self care too, right? You gotta treat yourself sometimes